Pan-European lottery and sports betting operator Sazka Group has announced its financial results for FY2020, with CEO Robert Chvatal noting that the group has delivered a ‘robust performance’ in a difficult year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the 12 months to December 31, 2020, Sazka reported that its consolidated gross gaming revenue (GGR) increased by 6% year-on-year to €2,018m. However, when excluding CASAG and Stoiximan, GGR decreased by 26% year-on-year due to the impact of COVID19 in the second and fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, consolidated operating EBITDA for FY2020 declined by 22% to €459m, and it decreased by 38% year-on-year when excluding CASAG and Stoiximan.
The operator’s consolidated adjusted EBITDA fell by 11% year-on-year to €538m, while its consolidated profit after tax from continuing operations also saw a drop by 28% to €224m.
CEO Robert Chvatal commented: “I am pleased to report that Sazka Group has delivered a robust performance in a volatile year. Our Gross gaming revenue increased by 6% and our adjusted EBITDA margin was a healthy 44%.”
Sazka also published its Q4 2020 results, reporting its consolidated GGR increased by 12% year-on-year to €597m, while its consolidated operating EBITDA decreased by 41% to €96m. Its consolidated profit after tax also increased by 42% year-on-year to €134m.
The operator was affected by the pandemic throughout the year, as certain restrictions that were reintroduced in November impacted its physical retail network in Greece and its casinos in Austria and internationally. With the second wave of COVID restrictions carrying over into 2021, some of its businesses continue to be impacted.
However, Sazka’s online sales, which increased significantly during the first period due to the pandemic’s restrictions on retail openings, have continued to grow.
Chvatal added: “2020 has shown that we are well-positioned to weather extreme circumstances. We benefit in particular from our diverse range of products, sales channels and geographical exposure, our favourable cost structure, the strong cash flow generation of our business and our strong liquidity and access to multiple sources of capital.
“We have made great progress on our strategic objectives in 2020. I am particularly pleased with the success of our online and digital-only offerings. This was already a major strategic focus for us and our experience in the last several months has only emphasised the benefits that it can bring.
“The changes in consumer behaviour as a result of COVID-19 have allowed us to develop our product offering and increase our user base faster than would have otherwise been the case, with significant increases in registrations and active users as well as several exciting product launches. Importantly, we have maintained this strong momentum as restrictions have eased.”
The CEO concluded: “Overall, I am very pleased with Sazka Group’s strong performance and strategic progress in 2020. I am extremely proud of the resilience our businesses have shown and I would like to thank the entire Sazka Group team for their hard work and perseverance, and for seizing opportunities to progress our strategic priorities.”